Forecaster Frank's College Six Picks
Northwestern 24 Duke 20
Two schools with similar backgrounds that have developed a nice gridiron rivalry, playing nearly every year. They're both evenly matched, with the Wildcats holding a 10-9 series edge, with Duke delivering a win last season. Both teams are coming off solid opening week wins, as they hope to make a run at the rankings with a 2-0 start. The Blue Devils have an edge with a strong defense that last week held Army to 14 points, while Northwestern on the road won a conference game with the running of Jeremy Larkin. Look for this to come down to the intangibles, which means pick the home team, as Northwestern takes their home opener.
Previous Week with Spread: 2-4 .333
Total With Spread: 2-4 .333
Previous Week no Spread: 3-3 .500
Total No Spread: 3-3 .500
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Nebraska 37 Colorado 18
A once great Big XII conference rivalry is renewed as Nebraska after a false start begins the Scott Frost era in earnest. Last week in Lincoln, Husker Nation was ready to roll, but it was the thunder that rolled, causing the cancellation of Nebraska’s season opener against Akron. Colorado meanwhile was one of the only Pac-12 teams to fall on their face as they slammed state rival Colorado State in Denver. It did not take Frost long to make Central Florida a power in the American Conference, it will not take long for him to bring back Nebraska into national prominence. The Huskers are a sleeping giant that has been dormant since the days of Tom Osborne. Look for Nebraska to begin to show flashes of the greatness to come.
Clemson 27 Texas A&M 13
Both Clemson and Texas A&M got off to strong starts beating hapless FCS opponents that did not belong on the same field. Experts, who have seen Clemson, believe they may have one of the greatest defenses ever seen in College Football, as they have gotten the pre-season #2 ranking. The Aggies also have a strong defense, though they have not nearly gotten the same level of respect. This could be one of the toughest games the Tigers face all season as they face a hostile crowd with the 12th man at Kyle Field, with the crew from ESPN’s College GameDay on Hand. However, having a strong defense means the ability to take a crowd out of the game, and that will end up being the key as Clemson earns a hard-fought physical win.
Penn State 28 Pittsburgh 24
The Keystone Classic has never been more intense as the two have split the last two games, after renewing the rivalry after a 16-year hiatus. The Panthers win at Heinz Field in 2016 was the responsible for the Nittany Lions missing a chance at the College Football Playoff, while Penn State bounced back last year. Pitt started the season easy with a walkover against Albany, while Penn State had to sweat out an overtime showdown at home against Appalachian State. This will be a test for both teams and should come down to the final plays. If the Nittany Lions are to be a contender, they must get a win here, as they will always have the talent edge.
Stanford 38 USC 20
While most of the Pac-12 Conference fell on their face last week, Stanford and USC each won their game against teams from the Mountain West Conference. This game is a tall order for the Trojans who are a younger less experienced team going on the road against a veteran Stanford team that has been a strong contender in the Pac-12 North for years. The Cardinal are led by Bryce Love, who is among the Heisman favorites in 2018, while receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside is coming off a huge performance against San Diego State. Look for Love to have a big game as Stanford runs all over USC on Saturday Night.
Michigan State 30 Arizona State 24
Last week the Herm Edwards era started perfectly as they ran rings around UTSA. However, Michigan State is without a doubt a higher quality opponent. The Spartans had to sweat out a close game at home against Utah State. Playing at night in the Pacific Time Zone is a tough task for Eastern Team, but Michigan State is a party school that is used to burning the midnight oil. At least there is no studying required. The Sun Devils now play to win the games, but the Spartans that defense struggled against the Aggies pass game, will make the right adjustments and having a better night and win in the desert.